Wednesday, July 31, 2013

10 Things I Love & 10 Things I Hate

So I'm really liking lists of 10 Things lately, & I figured it would be fun to do a list of 10 Things I Love & 10 Things I Hate, so we can all get to know each other a little better!  So here we go:

10 I Love:
1. Peanut butter, this is one of my favorite things to eat ever!  Peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter & chocolate, & more I love anything peanut butter.  I'm not picky between smooth or crunchy, but I am picky about the brand, I am a Skippy girl all the way.
2. Nordstrom, my favorite store.  As I've mentioned before I have been shopping here forever, & this is where my mom got all my clothes as a kid, my love has follwed me through pre teen & teen years, & is definitely following me into adulthood.  What's not to love about the department store?  You can get clothes, shoes, makeup, homegoods, and yummy food (seriously you can buy their delish salad dressing for like $6.00!).  My favorite roommate I have ever had, works here, & she's from Seattle so when she's home on break she gets to work (& shop) at the original Nordstrom, which is so cool!
3. New York, New York City, The Big Apple aka one of my favorite places in the world, & where I want to live when I'm done with school.
4. A Walk to Remember, both the book & movie are my favorite book & movie.  I have watched & read it a million times & would highly recommend doing both!
5. Shoes, they really make the outfit & I probably own about 100 pairs.  I cannot wait to get my hands on a pair of Louboutin's one day.
6. Nail polish, which is a considerably less expensive love then shoes, thankfully.  I favor OPI & Essie, & usually have to purchase a bottle when they come out with a new collection.  Check out my nail polish posts.
7. Mascara, my lashes the same color as my hair so they are basically invisible without it.  I've tried so many different types because I am very picky & so are my eyes (they're very sensitive).  This is by far #1 makeup must have. 
8. Peonies, these are my new favorite flower, they are gorgeous!
9. Sparkles, I'm kind of obsessed with these, I always joke that I'm like a baracuda - anything sparkly attracts me.
10.  My mom loves monograms & for years I have bucked her on this because I don't love my initials.  However, recently I have been bitten by the monogram bug & want my monogram on everything!  

10 I Hate:
1. Being woken up, anything sudden freaks me out & being woken up unexpectedly really upsets me, & I may have been known to cry when this happens.
2. Loud noises, see above, these scare me almost as much.
3. Cottage cheese, I really hate this.  My mom & friends really like it especially with fruit, but it just grosses me out - the taste, the texture, everything about this just rubs me the wrong way.
4. Humidity & I do not get along well.  I have a few health problems & humidity makes me fell awful, not to mention it makes my hair frizz & my skin shine, none of which I like.
5. Waiting a week for a good show to be on again, when you have a favorite show that you watch & it is so good, it is really hard to wait an entire week for the next episode to see what happens.  I'm not very patient & would love if a season could just play consecutively or every night I don't think that's too much to ask (hear that TV execs?).
6. Hangovers, there's nothing worse then having an amazing/fun/crazy night out with your favorite adult beverage of choice (& perhaps a lot of that beverage), & then waking up the next morning feeling like death.  I really wish that the amazing way you feel the night before (maybe minus the drunk part) could just carry over into the next day so you wouldn't have to pay for playing.
7. I am a huge baby & cannot watch scary movies, if I ever do (which is next to never), I never want to sleep again.
8. My biggest pet peeve is rude people, is it really that hard to say please, thank you, excuse me etcetera?  If everyone could just be polite the world would be a much better place.
9. Taking out the garbage, for some reason this just really, really bugs me.
10. Guinness.  This is my dad's beer of choice & I find it absolutely disgusting.  I like beer, just not this brew.

So now that you know how I feel about a few different things, do you love or hate any of the same things or maybe in the opposite order of me?
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recipe: Lemon Sugar Cookies

So I found this great recipe on Pinterest, & it's from Martha Stewart's website.  As usual I changed the recipe a tiny bit!
3 cups all purpose flour*
1 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest**
1 cup butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. lemon juice
*Check out how I make my gluten free flour & why I use it here (it's under the ingredients).
**I used a lemon zester on a lemon & then finely chopped the zest.

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Grease cookie sheets.
-Sift flour & baking soda into a bowl, set aside.
-Combine sugars & lemon zest in a bowl with an electric mixer, mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
-Add butter, mix until pale & fluffy, about 1 minute.
-Mix in eggs 1 at a time.
-Add lemon juice, & reduce speed to slow.
-Gradually add flour/baking soda mixture.
-Scoop dough onto greased cookie with spoon or cookie scooper.
-Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
-Transfer from cookie sheet onto wire cooling rack.
-Cool & enjoy!
Makes about 60 cookies.
These are so delicious!  I love lemon cookies & this is the best recipe I've tried to make them, & trust me I've tried a lot.  They have just the right amount of lemon flavoring, not too faint a lemon flavor or too overpowering.  Everyone in my family has been enjoying them, & they're kind of addictive.  My cookies were made with gluten free flour as mentioned above so they are a bit flat, but that did not effect the taste at all.  These cookies are crunchy, buttery, lemony, sugar cookie goodness, that I highly recommend making!
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Check out my new
It's on the right sidebar above archives.
Featuring all my beauty 'must haves'!

Let's Talk About Monograms

Monograms have been popping up everywhere lately, & I'm loving it!  Let's be honest for a minute though, I used to hate monograms.  My name is Kristin A. Thompson, do you know what that makes my initials?  K A T, yup cat with a 'K', which is something my mom thought was just adorable & perfect for a nickname.  Well, much to her dismay I am not a fan of nicknames, & I really, really don't like my initials (seriously Dad, why did you let her do this?!).  Well, this new trend of monograms has helped me out with the whole initial thing, which brings me to one of my favorite things about monograms: they switch up your initials, making my monogram KTA & my problem solved!  So let's see all the great things you can get (& I want) emblematized with your monogram.


The most classic & popular, available in silver, gold, & rose gold.

My Favorite!
The acrylic version which is available in many colors.

Pippa Middleton's take on the trend.



Kitchen Towel
Bathroom Towels

Wood Cutout:


This is just a small sampling of the many, many things you can get you monogram put on& I'm hoping that this is a trend that is here to stay!

What are your thoughts on monograms?
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

New York Here We Come!

So in a few weeks, my sister, best friend, & I are planning a trip to New York City, which is one of my favorite places in the whole world.  The three of us had an NYC day last summer, & it was so, so, so much fun, so we are hoping to have a great day again!  
Top (from left to right): Sister & I in front of Sprinkles, treats from Sprinkles, BFF & I with a lego Statue of Liberty at FAO Schwartz
Bottom (from left to right): Sister & BFF goofing off with statues at the Central Park Zoo, Sister & I hanging out at the sea lion exhibit at the CPZ, BFF & Sister feeding animals at the CPZ

I always try to get a basic layout of what we are going to do, as I am a bit of a planner.  My sister has Celiac & I have really bad food allergies, which makes it difficult for us not to have a restaurant with 'safe' options picked out in advance.  We've had really good luck finding great gluten free/allergy friendly restaurants in the city.  I thought it would be fun to share what we have planned so far!

1. NBC Studio Tour - My sister & friend aren't into museums, but we always try to do something different when we go into New York, so this year we decided on this.  It's $24.00, which I think is pretty cheap for NY.  The tour website says that you get to tour "the NBC Sharp Globe Theater, Broadcast Operations, the Make-up Room, and even produce your very own news and weather program in the High Definition Mini-Control Studio".  There are so many possible studios that the group can tour including SNL, 30 Rock, & Dr. Oz, depending on what is not in use at the time.
2. Lunch at Serafina on Broadway - Their menu looks delish & they have a ton of yummy gluten free options!
3. IT'SUGAR - A giant novelty candy store on the Upper West Side.
4. Sprinkles Cupcakes - They make the best cupcakes ever!  They always have very tasty gluten free red velvet available, & my sister & I stop here every time we're in NYC.

 We're thinking we might go to Central Park to eat our cupcakes, & I'm sure we'll stop in a couple other fun places on the way.  I absolutely cannot wait to go, & I will be sure to update you on all the shenanigans we get into!

What's something you've always wanted to do in New York City?
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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Recipe: Delish & Quick Homemade Oatmeal

So my ADD (I don't actually have ADD, but a lot of times I feel like I do) is making me want to do another post today.  I finally finished that paper that I was supposed to write last Saturday, I mean I really did wear that outfit I planned to wear, but I was just lazy lazy instead of productive lazy, if you know what I mean.  So today I was productive lazy when I woke up, & now I'm just bumming around the house before I have to get ready for a party I'm going to tonight.  I was getting really hungry, but we're in desperate need of some groceries (thankfully my Mom's going later), so since I'm out of what I usually eat I decided I would make some homemade oatmeal.  We always have some Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Quick Rolled Oats (so much better then Quaker Oats!) because my family & I have a serious thing for oatmeal cookies.  So with knowing that I went online to search for a yummy & quick recipe, & found an amazing & healthy one on Lauren Conrad's website.  It's called Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal, in addition to the oatmeal recipe it has a low fat 'frosting' recipe to mix into the oatmeal, but I just wanted a basic oatmeal so I didn't make it, also I had to do a little variation on the recipe to eliminate things I'm allergic to.

1/2 cup quick cook oats
1/2 cup 2% or skim milk (her recipe calls for unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but I'm allergic to nuts)
1 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt

-Combine all ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl.
-Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
-Remove from microwave & stir.
-If the oatmeal is not set, microwave for another minute.
-If oatmeal is too thick for you, add more milk.
My oatmeal came out really thick, but that is how I prefer it, I absolutely hate watery oatmeal.  Like I put in the instructions if it is too thick just add some more milk until it's at a consistency you like.  This oatmeal was exactly what I wanted & made a perfect amount to fill me up.  My favorite part was that it was not too sweet like store brought instant oatmeal is.  This is so easy to make, super tasty, & healthy so what's not to love?
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Friday's Celebrity Outfit of the Week

So I'm a day late, but yesterday's post was amazing!  Don't you just love Meghan?!
Naya Rivera in Michael Kors at the Giffoni Film Festival in Giffoni Valle Piana, Italy. 
Oh my gosh this is a total Barbie dress! I am in love!  Naya Rivera look fabulous in this Michael Kors dress.  It is the perfect combination of sophisticated & sexy with the sweetheart neckline & longer hemline.  This color goes looks amazing with Naya's skin tone.  Finally, the shoes really bring out the silver in the material of the dress, & as I've mentioned before I love metallic shoes, especially in this style.  There were a few other celebrity outfits that I loved this week, but Naya's was my favorite by far!

What do you think of Naya's Barbie-chic look?
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Meet Meghan

Hello Everyone!  Before I introduce my new friend (keep reading!) I want to share something really quick.
I'm kind of obsessed with this song & had to share it.  Head over to I Wore Yoga Pants to Work to check out the #backthatazzupfriday musical link up!
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P.S. I'm postponing Friday's Celebrity Outfit of the Week until tomorrow!

Now onto more important things!  I would like to introduce everyone to my sweet new friend Meghan from Chasing Elephants.  Chasing Elephants is an awesome blog about chasing your dreams & living your life with an awesome 101 in 1001, which makes me want to create my own.  Meghan & I were introduced by the lovely Erin from Two Thirds Hazel.  We are both new bloggers & have been sharing tips & tricks, & decided it would be fun to switch blogs for the day (go check out my post on Chasing Elephants!).  So without further ado I introduce Meghan:
1. Where are you from/where do you currently live?
I come from a wee town in Upstate, NY called Trumansburg.  It is actually a village; it consists of zero stop lights.  When I was younger I thought it was a super bore but looking back I was so lucky to grow up in such a beautiful area and I grew up with some amazing people that are still my best friends.
2. Tell me about your blog.
I started reading a bunch of blogs after my bestest/sister told me about hers.  After spending weeks and weeks of admiring everyone’s lives I thought it was time to share some of my journey.  It’s a fun way to document my life and experiences, hold myself accountable for actually living life and not just going through the motions and hopefully make some new friends.
3. Guilty pleasure.
Reality TV, I’m actually watching Housewives of Orange County right now! I just love it, love it all!  The Real Housewives, Princesses of LI, Keeping up with the Kardashians, I pretty much watch Bravo and E whenever bf isn’t home. 
4. Last thing you brought.
I hate to admit that the last thing I bought was groceries.  I can’t even remember the last time I brought clothing or accessories and that needs to change real quick!
5. What pin board do you pin to the most?
My “Someday” board, aka anything and everything to do with Wedding stuff.  Just waiting for that day when I can finally plan for real!  Recently “All About the Home” is creeping up there because we’ve been thinking about adding on and remodeling. 
6. If you could get on a plane tomorrow & go anywhere, where would you go?
Thailand!  Hence my blog name which has everything to do with my dream of going to Thailand.
7. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
If you asked me a couple years ago I would have said bread but now I would have to go with sweet potatoes.  They are so scrumptiously good and there are so many different things you can do with them, I honestly never get bored with them.
8. What is your favorite item of clothing or accessory?
That changes a lot but right now its dresses and I could most certainly use some more.  So if anyone has some cute suggestions let me know!
9. If you won the lottery tomorrow what would your first purchase be?
Pay off those stupid student loans, I don’t want to look at them anymore so I would just want to pay it all and never see or deal with them again. 
10. What is your biggest pet peeve?
Being late.  Not only does it grind my gears when other people are late, because the last thing I want to do is waste time waiting around on someone else, but I also can’t stand if I am running late.  I will always call and text if I am running late and its usually because of someone else.
Since my two favorite Pinterest boards are “Someday” and “All About the Home” I thought I would share my 5 favorite things from each to give you a lil more insight to my style and likes.  Let me tell you, picking 5 things is really tootin hard!  
1. Having a picture like this with my best friend at my wedding would be probably put me in tears, actually not probably I would be.  My best friends are my soul mates.
2. This dress, stop it I must have!
3. I’m into the antique type rings and I’m pretty sure if I ever had this ring put on my finger I would drop to the floor.  It would seriously make me speechless.
4. There’s nothing more I am looking forward to someday then seeing the grooms face see me for the first time when I walk down that aisle.
5. I love this picture because this dude is saying I am one lucky guy and I am proud to call this woman my wife!
1. A townhome:  I would love to experience living in a city, Chicago to be exact and why not do it in a pretty townhome.
2. Yes, I pinned a laundry room but how nice would it be to be able to do three loads at one time and not have to leave your house?
3. I love windows.  Currently I’m in the process of possibly remodeling the attic and this would be amazing.
4. Theres nothing a want in a house more than an open kitchen.  I love to entertain and the last thing I want to do is be cooking in the kitchen missing out on all the action.
5. I’m a bath person, actually my whole family is so yea we are bath people.  The view and this bath could be a perfect place to unwind with a very big glass of wine!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beauty Review: Aveeno Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer

I've been using Aveeno daytime face lotions & other Aveeno products for a long time now.  I really love the company & the fact that they use 'Active Naturals', as I've said before I am up for anything that is a little more natural.  Aveeno really makes so many great products, many of which I have tried (aren't you shocked?).  I used to use their Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer, & was very happy with it, but a few years ago they rolled out their Smart Essentials line, which intrigued me.  At this time, I looked into the products & decided to try the Smart Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer ($16.99 on in place of the Positively Radiant one.  My #1 favorite thing about both moisturizers is that they have SPF 30, I am a sunscreen fanatic due to my very fair coloring & family history of skin cancer, plus I don't want early wrinkles!  I was interested in switching lotions because of all the antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, & E) & the Active Naturals formula with southernwood in the new product.  Of these ingredients their website says "it is proven to help skin retain moisture, leaving it soft, smooth and healthy looking", & I can attest that it does all of these things.  From the day I switched I never looked back because it is such an amazing face cream.  It makes my skin 'glow-y' when I put it on, & helps to keep it super moisturized, another great property is that it has a very pleasant scent that is non irritating (& my skin & nose are VERY sensitive to scents).  The website also mentions that the amazing moisturizer is "oil free, hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic", all big positives in my book.  I love this so much that I even got my sister turned on to it!  If you are looking for a new daytime cream or running low on the one you always use, I would without a question recommend picking up this one.
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Deja Vu & The Vineyard

Ok so I have a true life confession for everyone: I am a major nighttime television watcher.  During the week I have specific shows that I like to watch, I usually have a snack & unwind from the day at this time.  When I'm home for the summer this is something my mom & I like to do together, we hang out, watch a show or two, and talk during the commercials, we started this a long time ago & have been doing it for as long as I can remember.  So last night I painted my toenails & watched Pretty Little Liars & then Covert Affairs.  While watching both I kept seeing commercials for a new ABC Family show called 'The Vineyard', which was premiering after Cover Affairs was on.  I decided I would see what it was all about & watch it.
When I started watching I was surprised it was a reality 'docu-series', that was not what I was expecting.  The reason I used the term deja vu was because at the beginning of the show I instantly had flashbacks to "Laguna Beach" & "The Hills", the theme song is set up the exact same way as those shows were, & it has a female narrator, again, just like those shows did.  I was a big "Laguna" fan & an even bigger "Hills" fan, so I was instantly excited to keep watching.  The show is about eleven gorgeous twenty somethings who all work at The Black Dog (tavern, shop, & docks) on Martha's Vineyard & most live in 'The Black Dog' House, as they are only there for the summer, but others live elsewhere as they live on the island all year round.
The Shop
The Cast

The show is going to document the trials & tribulations of living & working together, & the difference between the visitors & the islanders in the summer time.  Last night's episode was comprised of move in, sunbathing, work, & a party thrown by their bosses.  In the episode you can already see cliques forming (among both the girls & guys), & a little bit of fighting.  A few things are definite from this first episode & they are that there is going to be a lot of drama, romance, fighting, working, partying, & hot shirtless guys.  After watching I could already tell what girls are going to be little biotches & what guys are going to be major tools.  This show is something very different for ABC Family, &  I am really liking it.  On their website you can check out the cast, watch the episode, & a couple other fun things.  If you were a fan of "Laguna Beach", "The Hills", or are looking for a good show to watch I would definitely recommend checking this one out.  I cannot wait to see next week's episode!

Did you watch "The Vineyard" last night?
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Congrats Will & Kate!

As I've mentioned before, I LOVE Kate Middleton, & I have been eagerly awaiting the birth of the Royal Baby.  I was SO excited when the baby was born yesterday because it was my half birthday (yes I do celebrate my half birthday)!  Today Will & Kate left the hospital with their little bundle of joy, & we got a first glimpse at the new family.  Can I just say, Kate looks freaking AMAZING!  I've come to the conclusion that she is perfect, & would just like to be her.  Seriously who wouldn't though?  She's a Princess, she's got a royal hottie for a hubby, she's gorgeous, she's tall & thin, & looks fabulous after giving birth a short 24 hours ago.  I just wanted to do this post to say Congrats, & show how adorable (& did I mention perfect?) the three royals are.
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Celebrity Style Obsession: Lauren Conrad

Who doesn't love Lauren Conrad's chic California Girl Style?  Ever since her days as a Teen Vogue intern she has been a total style icon.  Lauren is an 'every girl', she worked her way to the top, & documented the process - including her style evolution.  She always looks crisp & effortless.  If you've read her Style book then you know all about her fashion philosophy, & if you haven't read the book I recommend picking it up, I love it so much I've given it as a gift.  Her outfits translate well into the 'real world', meaning you don't have to be a celeb to rock them.  When picking out outfits I often look to Conrad for inspiration, she knows what works for her & what to pair it with.  Here I have included a sampling of her best looks.  

Which of Lauren's looks is your favorite?
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Baking Soda Beauty #4: Spot Treatment

As a part of my Baking Soda Beauty Series I've been explaining that baking soda can be used for so, so many things when it comes to beauty.  I'm excited for today's post because one of my favorite uses for it is as a spot treatment for pimples.
Basically when creating a spot treatment with baking soda you want to create a paste that you can apply to pimples.  I recommend apply this paste before bed, & leaving it on overnight so that you can get all the benefits this treatment has to offer.  

Spot Treatment Recipes:

Water Paste- most basic & known
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. water
You want this to be a paste consistency.  If it is too dry, add more water, & if it is too wet, add more baking soda.

Lemon Juice Paste- lemon juice cuts shine, & is a natural Alpha Hydoxy Acid, which works to chemically exfoliate
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. lemon juice
Follow instructions under Water Paste, but with lemon juice instead of water.

Tea Tree Oil Paste- tea tree oil is a known acne fighter, it will work with the baking soda to quickly eliminate a pimple
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 drops tea tree oil
Just enough water to create a paste
Add tea tree oil to baking soda, then add just enough water to create a paste.

Apple Cider Vinegar- apple cider vinegar is known for it's many great properties, & fighting acne is one of them
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Follow instructions under Water Paste, but with apple cider vinegar instead of water.

Green Clay- clay is used in many store brought face masks & works wonders as a spot treatment, as well
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. green clay
1/2 tsp. water
You want this to be a paste consistency.  If it is too dry, add more water, & if it is too wet, add more baking soda & green clay in equal portions.

These recipes are great, all natural, & inexpensive alternatives to store brought spot treatments, & work just as well!

What do you like to use baking soda for?

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Other posts in this series:
Baking Soda Beauty #1: Shampoo Alternative
Baking Soda Beauty #2: Face Masks
Baking Soda Beauty #3: Dry Shampoo

Sunday, July 21, 2013

10 Random Things About Me

I thought it would be fun to share 10 random things about myself.  I want everyone to get to know me, & I would love to get know all of you!  So here are 10 random facts about me.
1. I really, really love dogs.  As a child I literally loved them almost to death.  When going through old photos I noticed a theme of my childhood:
I don't understand why I was allowed near dogs...

2. I love the word obsessed & way over use it.

3. My favorite adult bevy of choice is vodka.
I like it a lot.

4. I am addicted to beauty products, hence all my beauty product reviews.

5. I am a quarter Italian.
Which you can totally see when you look at me.

6. I was completely clueless about sports until college (high school games were a string of really interesting comments about the game).  The only catch about my love now is that I prefer Villanova sports.
Villanova Men's Basketball coach.

7. I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up.

8. My favorite color in the world is pink & almost everything I own is pink.
My room at school.

9. I've had the same best friend for 21 years, & I'm only 21.

10. I want to live in New York City after college, & eventually move to California.

So now that you know a few random things about me, share something random about you in the comments!
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